By JENNA YAN, sophomore
With the softball season coming to a close, the Lady Hawks make for one final push to the end. And while JP Stevens ended the season with a victorious, 15-3 record, they garnered great accomplishments this year, including winning the title of Red Division champions for the second time with a smashing score of 19-0 against Edison High School. With the goal of giving 110% effort on the field, the Lady Hawks started off the season with a strong opening 2-0 victory against South Brunswick High School, followed by an equally strong 5-0 shutout over East Brunswick High School.
Led by senior captains Rebecca DiSerio, Kayla Smith, Gabriella Young, and Kelsey Shalonis, the team looked forward to becoming Red Division champions again by building off of their previous successes. Assistant coaches Ullrich and Holborow helped train the team alongside head coach, Coach Petty, by using their knowledge of softball and experience in leading the Lady Hawks to victory last year. Under their guidance, the team envisions a rise in talent by the younger players as they strengthen their batting and fielding skills and become experienced by the end of the season. Coach Petty affirms this vision, stating, “I think athletes perform best when they are confident, focused, and comfortable in an environment that allows them to challenge each other, where they have respect for themselves, their teammates, their school, their opponents and the sport.”
Everyday, the JP Stevens softball team has dedicated immense effort into each practice to improve basic skills such as fielding, batting, and running. During practices, the players compete in mini games or participate in a team-favorite star drill. In this drill, players gather in a circle around the pitching mound to throw softballs in a diagonal formation. By giving all their effort in practice, the Lady Hawks look to increase their dedication to the sport. Through its persistence, the JP Stevens softball team sets a long lasting legacy for the younger players behind them, hoping to inspire them to work harder. Captain Gabriella Young advises future players by encouraging them “to make every season, every bat, and every out count because they can’t be taken back, as the season will fly by.”
Softball is a sport that requires team support and encouragement to build up success on the field. To increase their bond as a second family, the softball team sing Billy Joel songs on the bus for away games. As the season comes to a close, the Lady Hawks are prepared to go all out for all games all season.
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